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Bachelor of Science in CS

We provide students with the tools to identify those problems that are best solved by means of a computer and to design and implement effective, economical and creative solutions.


Computer Science is the study of the design and use of computer systems.
The curriculum’s required courses give students a strong foundation in both the software and hardware aspects of computing, as well as the mathematics and science that underlie the discipline. The electives in the later years allow students to study a particular area of computer science in greater depth.


  • The General Option is the main computer science program. This gives students maximum flexibility to customize their choices of electives based on their own interests.
  • An Option in Cybersecurity combines practical techniques, theory and ethical training in attacking and defending computer systems. Read more about the Cybersecurity option.
  • An Option in Data Science prepares you to become a data scientist—an expert capable of analyzing and extracting useful patterns from lots of data.
  • An Option in Bio-Cheminformatics provides you with the skills and knowledge to apply computer science to challenges in molecular biology, biochemistry and medicine.
See the degree pathways below.
Program requirements and other relevant information can be found in the links below: 
Computer Science Electives
CS students must complete two courses (6 credits) of computer science electives.  
  • These courses must be at the 300 level or higher.
  • These may be any non-required courses offered by the CS Department that are not taken to fill other slots (courses cannot be “double counted”).
  • Two of these courses must be a part of a project sequence.
General Education Requirements
CS students must complete six courses (18 credits) that satisfy the University General Education Requirements.
  • Three courses (9 credits) must be approved Arts and Humanities (AH) courses
  • Three courses (9 credits) must be approved Social Sciences (SS) courses
  • ENGL.2200 Oral & Written Communication for Computer Science is required and counts as one of the three required AH GenEds
  • One of these courses (either AH or SS) must satisfy the CS Ethics Requirement
  • One (again either AH or SS) must satisfy the University Diversity Requirement

Technical Electives
CS students must complete 6 credits of technical electives. These are courses offered by the College of Sciences (our college) or the College of Engineering.
  • Courses that fulfill this requirement must be classified as required or elective courses for the majors in those departments.
  • To use a CS course as a technical elective, it must be at the 3000, 4000, or 5000 level.

Natural Science Electives
CS students must complete 12 credits of natural science courses.  These are courses offered by one of the four natural science departments in the College of Sciences: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental/Earth/Atmospheric Sciences, and Physics/Applied Physics.
  • Courses that fulfill this requirement must be classified as required or elective courses for the majors in those departments (with some exceptions).
  • Two of the three natural science courses must be taken with their associated labs.
  • The remaining 4 credits can be satisfied either by taking a third 3-credit natural science course with its companion 1-credit lab, or by taking two 3-credit natural science courses without their companion labs.
  • The total number of credits applied to this requirement plus the number of credits earned in Math (MATH.xxxx) courses must total at least 30.
The Computer Science faculty recommends that students always take the companion lab for any natural science course when a lab is available.

General (Free) Electives
CS students must complete 12 credits of almost any course offered by the University. At least one general elective must be in a non-technical area (not computer science, the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and similar disciplines) such as the humanities or social sciences that does not have a computation or other technical focus.  For all general electives, CS students must avoid:
  • Courses in areas required by the CS curriculum (such as mathematics) unless they are at a level higher than those required by the CS courses.
  • Non-CS courses having a significant computing component or a significant overlap in content with courses required by the CS curriculum, such as MIS or IT courses.
  • Mathematics courses below the level of the science and engineering calculus sequence.
  • Certificate courses offered through Continuing Education.
  • CS courses for non-majors.
The determination of the acceptability of any proposed general elective course will be made by the CS department undergraduate coordinator.
You may take courses that do not qualify as general electives. Such courses will appear on your transcript and are part of your overall GPA, but they will not count toward your BS degree in Computer Science.  Students who took courses in the above categories before they came to UMass Lowell are usually allowed to use them as general electives.

The Ethics & Diversity Requirements
Computer Science requires all its undergraduate majors to complete at least one ethics course.  This requirement can be satisfied by completing any course that fulfills the university's Social Responsibility and Ethics Requirement. 
Here are a few SRE courses which are particularly relevant to understanding the professional and ethical responsibilities within the field of computer science as well as factors relevant to understanding the social impacts of technology:
  • ENGL.2490: Literature on Technology and Human Values (Formerly 42.249)
  • FAHS.2200: Designing the Future World (Formerly 57.220)
  • PHIL.2030: Introduction to Ethics (Formerly 45.203)
  • PHIL.3340: Engineering and Ethics (Formerly 45.334)
  • PHIL.3350: Ethical Issues in Technology (Formerly 45.335)
Of course, you are not limited to the courses on this list to fulfill the requirement.

Computer Science Minor 
The Computer Science minor is primarily intended for students in the sciences, engineering or other field with a substantial quantitative component who are looking to acquire a fairly deep CS background to complement their major. A student who successfully completes the coursework gains depth in CS beyond the requirements of the student's major department.  
For more information on the specific requirements, visit the Computer Science Minor page.
Robotics Minor
The Computer Science major may be combined with a minor in Robotics, giving you a strong foundation in computer science plus significant disciplinary expertise in mechanical engineering, computer engineering, and in robotics itself.
For more information on the specific requirements, please visit the Robotics Minor page.
Mathematics Minor
The mathematics minor has a good synergy with the Computer Science major, seeing as you only need to take a handful of extra classes (3 to be exact) to complete this minor.  A minor in mathematics will strengthen your understanding of the underlying concepts of computer science, many of which are math based.
For more information on the specific requirements, please visit the Mathematics Minor page.
Other Minors

For admissions information, visit the UML admissions site:

Note: If you are interested in studying Math, Science or Engineering, it is strongly recommended that you take four years of Math and Science.

The Computer Science Department offers a five-year combined BS/MS program, in which students earn both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees.

Computer Science majors who want to take advantage of this program should consider taking one or two qualifying graduate courses during their senior years. COMP.5020 Foundations of Computer Science and COMP.5030 Algorithms are good choices. Either of these can count as an undergraduate computer science elective and as a master's degree course. Only credits beyond the 120 required for the BS can be double-counted.

The rules governing double-counting of courses are as follows:

  • Any graduate course allowed for graduate computer science credit may be taken as an undergraduate course and double-counted. 
  • With the permission of the undergraduate coordinator, certain project-oriented pairs of graduate courses may be taken for the undergraduate project sequence, and may be double-counted.
  • The double-counting of 4000-level courses requires case-by-case Graduate Committee approval.

Students must satisfy prerequisites before they enroll in courses. Please note that some graduate courses offered by the Computer Science Department do not carry credit even for Computer Science students. For example, you cannot receive credit for COMP.5000

To be accepted into this program, you must have good grades and apply in your junior year. For more information, see graduate catalog.

For additional information about BS/MS program, contact the Department of Computer Science.

Contact the Undergraduate Coordinators

Why Study Computer Science at UMass Lowell?

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Undergraduate Major & Robotics Minor

The Computer Science major may be combined with a minor in Robotics. Read more, Robotics Minor program.
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